Moving With the Sooners

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To field your position on the diamond, it's necessary to move forward, back, left and right efficiently. The way women in the Big 12 swing their bats, opposing softball teams must play on their toes and be ready to move in any direction.

University of Oklahoma players work hard to increase their range and make quick, efficient movements on the field.

Nancy Derrick, the Sooners' assistant strength and conditioning coach, says, "For any athlete, it's important to be able to [move] fast and effective in all directions. With the skill level we play against on a day to day basis, our players can't take a play off, or they'll get burned."

To avoid looking like a fool on the field, Derrick suggests performing the Three-Way Lunge once a week during the off-season.

Three-Way Lunge
• Assume athletic stance holding dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing each other
• Step forward with right leg and lower into lunge position until left knee is just off ground
• Drive up to starting position
• Step right and lower into side lunge position
• Drive up to starting position
• Step back with right foot and lower into lunge position until right knee is just off ground
• Drive up to start position
• Repeat for specified reps
• Perform set on opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 2x3 each direction
Coaching Points:
Keep chest and shoulders up and core tight // Push off lunging leg to start position // Keep trail leg straight when performing Side Lunge // Keep knee behind toes // Avoid too much torso lean
Derrick: "The Three-Way Lunge incorporates multi-directional movements. Whenever [players] get low and field a ground ball, or an outfielder [makes] a play on a ball, it kind of simulates that."

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock